The Travels of Tug 44


Barred Owl






Barred Owls are seldom seen as they are mostly nocturnal and tend to hang out deep in the woods, though they may come out to hunt on gray dark days. I got this photo, and the next one, in late afternoon on a rainy day in November 2016. The name comes from the "bars" (horizontal stripes) on their upper chest.   high-res



After a few minutes, this Barred Owl flew across the road and perched on a low branch in a ravine by a stream, this time showing me his back side. In this shot, his head is turned backwards, 180 degrees. Beautiful birds, the Barred Owl.   high-res



November 2018, I met my 2nd Barred Owl in the wild. It was hunting mice and voles from a utility wire by the side of a busy road in Fort Edward. The traffic seemed not to bother it, but I thought my being too close would cause it to fly away.   high-res



... when to my astonishment, the Barred Owl did fly, but he flew to a tree right next to me, and then continued hunting.   high-res



The Barred Owl was now watching the ground directly below his perch, not 50 feet from me. I had only my long lens with me, so I backed up to get all of him in the photo.   high-res



And then a small break in the clouds improved the available light so I was able to get a few shots that showed his colors a lot better. The light was still poor, so I had to use a very slow shutter speed and that prevented me from getting any good flight photos.   high-res



Here's a closeup of the Owl. I have noticed one oddity, his right eyebrow is higher than the left one, and all the Barred Owls I have seen were like that. The eyebrow is actually part of a ring of stubby feathers around the face which directs sound to their ears, so this oddity may have something to do with their exceptional hearing.   high-res



My last shot of the Decemeber 2018 Barred Owl as the light begins to fade again. What a wonderful creature!   high-res

The Barred Owl, one of the more elusive birds.




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